What is Bluetooth?

Category: Hardware , Networking , Wireless

This is the age of wireless devices. Information is relevant only if it is accessible anywhere and everywhere. From phones to computers, every device is aiming at becoming wireless and providing more accessibility to the users. Read on to learn how Bluetooth technology is making wireless connections at home, at the office, and on the go...

Early bluetooth headset?

How Does Bluetooth Work?

Bluetooth enables two devices, usually within a short range, to connect to each other without cables or wires. The obvious advantage of Bluetooth technology is that it reduces the clutter of wires! But it also enables people to be in contact with each other and carry on with their work even when they are on the move. Bluetooth technology can be applied to a wide range of devices in areas like medicine, software, and mobile communications. Bluetooth is simple to install, easy to use, and can be used in number of devices such as digital cameras, mobile laptops, phones, printers, PCs, and video game consoles over a globally unlicensed, secure, short-range radio frequency.

Two Bluetooth enabled devices can communicate with each other using low power radio waves, and to eliminate interfering with other Bluetooth enabled devices, the signal is kept extremely weak. When two Bluetooth enabled devices come within the range of each another, they automatically form a network between themselves and start communicating with each other. Usually, a Bluetooth device can connect to another Bluetooth device only when it comes within a 10 meter radius (about 30 feet) of that device. Within this range, a Bluetooth enabled device can simultaneously connect with up to 8 devices. But to avoid cluttering, Bluetooth uses a technology called spread-spectrum frequency hopping, which does not allow more than one device to transmit on the same frequency at the same time.

Where is Bluetooth Used?

Bluetooth is SO Borg In practical usage, bluetooth enables wireless communication between a headset and a mobile phone, or a mouse and the computer. Bluetooth-enabled PDAs can wirelessly sync up to a desktop, and in automobiles the technology can be used to enable a GPS or cell phone to "broadcast" audio to your car speakers. The technology is also being used in game controllers, digital cameras and medical monitoring devices.

The term "toothing" refers to the process of discovering other nearby Bluetooth enabled devices. A few years back, a hoax perpetrated the notion that toothing was being widely used to arrange random sexual encounters on trains and subways. And in a classic case of "Life imitates Art and then Art gets even" there are now bluetooth dating devices available -- and one was referenced in a "CSI Miami" television episode featuring a cop who gets his badge stolen in the midst of a bluetooth-enabled rendezvous.

Security in Bluetooth

While receiving or transferring data, security is a concern in any device that uses wireless connection. The automatic connection of Bluetooth devices enables people to send you data without your permission. To avoid this misuse, almost all the Bluetooth enabled devices carry an option that asks the users whether they wish to grant access to another Bluetooth enabled device that is trying to gain access to the user's device. The user can establish a list of trusted devices that can automatically gain access to his device. Other devices have to ask permission before they are granted access.

Bluetooth Health Concerns

Since Bluetooth uses the microwave radio frequency spectrum to establish communication with other devices, there are concerns about the effect of these frequencies on health. But studies have confirmed that the microwave frequency emitted by Bluetooth devices is within the permissible range and they do not cause any damage to the human tissues. Also, the microwave frequency emitted by Bluetooth devices is much lower than that of the mobile devices. All these factors make Bluetooth devices a safe and convenient device to use. (See Cell Phones Cause Cancer? for a related story.)

Bluetooth devices are becoming an integral part of our lifestyles and they will be used in many of the devices of the future. Do you have comments about Bluetooth? Post your thoughts below...

 
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Most recent comments on "What is Bluetooth?"

Posted by:

J. Greene
17 Apr 2007

I've been using bluetooth cellphones for about a year now without much problem, but, I'll be damned if I ever get bluetooth earphones to work with my bluetooth enabled laptop PC! I don't know why, but, neither the inherent Windows XP sound system nor Skype will talk to my bluetooth earpiece. Sigh. Dear Bob ... please consider writing an article on how to use a cellphone bluetooth earpiece with VOIP on a Windows PC! :)


Posted by:

Alexander
31 Mar 2009

Hi,

I do not have a blue-tooth enabled cellphone, but I would still like to use my bluetooth carkit. Is there any solution for this? I have seen something called a 'dongle' but only with a USB interface, and my phone does not have a USB port.

Thanks


Posted by:

Kim
12 Dec 2011

A bluetooth is a great hands-free device to have for your cell phone. The bluetooth device can be interrupted when near an operating microwave oven or when an emergency vehicle's siren is very close to you.


Posted by:

Art Frailey
24 Aug 2012

Alexander,
I would suggest you get a phone with Blue-toothe enabling. Most of them that are on the market now are cheep, and and many people, yes even a friend, may have an older one just laying around that he is just keeping for a spare. Bluetoothe has been on the market for a bout 10 years or longer. The new phones bluethooth work very well.
I have a device that I use between my phone and hearing aids. It is a very beautiful thing to be able to talk hands free and listen with bothe ears.
I really would, try getting another phone. You can even get some new one for free, just sign a new contract.


Posted by:

Art Frailey
24 Aug 2012

Alexander,
I would suggest you get a phone with Blue-toothe enabling. Most of them that are on the market now are cheep, and and many people, yes even a friend, may have an older one just laying around that he is just keeping for a spare. Bluetoothe has been on the market for a bout 10 years or longer. The new phones bluethooth work very well.
I have a device that I use between my phone and hearing aids. It is a very beautiful thing to be able to talk hands free and listen with bothe ears.
I really would, try getting another phone. You can even get some new one for free, just sign a new contract.


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